Some of the loveliest found objects for jewelry making has to be sea glass and pretty stones.  Throw in crystals, pearls and gemstones and these are the fixings for delicious jewelry designs.

Organic Wire and Metal Jewelry is the name of the book I just received for review.  It celebrates the beauty of natural materials combined with man made ones as well as an intrinsically relaxed progress in the design process.  

This new inspirational and instructional book is by Beth Martin and Eva Sherman. Both designers are also instructors and one assumes, also great friends.  I was disappointed there wasn't anything in the introduction, other than their mutual love of sea glass etc, which explained  how their collaboration came about.

The book covers several different different techniques such as balling wire, drilling, stamping, riveting, forging and texturing metal.  While there are clearly metal work methods involved, the tools used are not majorly expensive ones. They use a drill to help coil the wire faster!

They certainly make a good case for learning how to use a hand held torch. It is not only used for balling wire ends but to anneal wire so it is soft enough to be forged or textured.

One awesome technique I learned from the book was how to braze copper, an easy soldering technique just for this metal. A torch and a brazing rod are needed.  The Vines and Tendrils pendant uses this technique to great effect. As you can see from the instructions below, 3 U shaped wire lengths are brazed together at the back. The wire ends are then either scrolled in the front or used to create the bail. Neat!

The authors show how to drill sea glass and stone  and even how to set a grommet in the hole.  But I was pleased to see a number of projects which did not require any drilling.  One example is the Waterway pendant featuring a coiled wire surround for the stone or sea glass focal which is held by cross wires both front and back. Adding beads to the front cross wires is a delightful touch.

My favorite design from the book was the Mermaid Tears collar.  This design was absolutely true to the book's theme as the various elements were indeed fashioned organically around the metal collar.  Every design created with this style is bound to be one of a kind!

This book is not for absolute beginners but for jewelry makers further along the journey - the late beginners and intermediates - who are willing to try new techniques and are not hung up on symmetry and preciseness but love to go with the flow with organic materials.

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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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